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The Honda Element was one of the most creative endeavors that the automaker ever produced. It was a compact SUV with four seats, suicide doors, and a clamshell tailgate, and was considered by some as the original “box on wheels.” The Element has been discontinued for the past 10 years, but you can still find plenty of them on the used market. But if you were to buy one now, you might be wondering how many miles would a Honda Element last.

The Honda Element is as reliable as any other Honda

You probably won’t be surprised when we tell you that the Honda Element is just about as reliable as any other product that the automaker has created. Although Consumer Reports gave the Honda Element a three out of five for “predicted reliability,” JD Power gave it a rating of 81 out of 100 for “quality and reliability,” which is considered great compared to other similar vehicles.  

A red 2005 Honda Element sitting by the beach
2005 Honda Element | Honda

Additionally, there are plenty of current Honda Element owners that have easily spun their car’s odometers to the tune of 200,000 or more. In fact, it’s not uncommon to read about owners reaching over 300,000 miles on their Elements without doing many large repairs in addition to simple maintenance. Repair Pal rates the Honda Element a four out of five when it comes to reliability and estimates an annual repair cost of $491, which is lower than the typical average of $521 for compact SUVs.

The best Honda Element model years to buy

The Honda Element was in production from 2003 to 2011, so you’ll have a good selection to choose from if you’re in the market. However, try and stay away from the 2003 model year as it has the most complaints filed on Car Complaints and it’s the first model year of the car, which tends to have the most issues.

Otherwise, if you’re on the hunt for an Element, we would suggest looking into the 2007 model year and above as it received a few upgrades at that time including more horsepower and a five-speed automatic transmission for better fuel economy. If you prefer that your Element has a more muscular look, then we would suggest finding a 2009 and later model as it underwent a minor refresh that year, which included a more chiseled front end.

a 2010 Honda Element in orange
2010 Honda Element | Honda

There are a couple of rare Honda Elements to look out for

If you want a Honda Element that can spice things up a bit, then be on the lookout for an Element SC. The SC stood for “Street Custom,” and it included fully painted front and rear bumpers, a unique front grille, a slightly lower suspension, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It was essentially the Element for the “cool kids.”

And as an added bonus tip, the 2009 and later Honda Elements were available with an optional OEM navigation system and rearview camera, which was a bit of a luxury at the time and rare to see on an SUV like this. So, if you can find one of those, then that would be quite the “unicorn” find.

2010 Honda Element Navigation System
2010 Honda Element Navigation System | Honda

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